Meryl Streep is indisputably a titan, a genius in the world of film: it is unlikely that her abilities will be mimicked or duplicated in this century.
Margaret Thatcher is also a remarkable woman, who with a will of steel triumphed and altered the political arena in England and the universe; a greengrocer’s daughter whose intelligence, vision and ambition led , for 11& 1/2 years (1979-1990), the second most powerful country in the free world. She fought and won wars at home and abroad; she bonded with, and held her own, with other pivotal leaders: Ronald Reagan, Mikhail Gorbachev; presided over the toppling of the Berlin wall. She inherited a social conscience from her father, as a child she and her sister, with the aid of her parents saved a young Jewish girl from the savagery of Nazism; she practiced law, clawed her way into Parliament and eventually with the support of the English people, Prime Minister. She was a conservative, against being on the “dole”; all should contribute something for the privilege of living in a democratic society or in today’s vernacular “having skin in the game”. (The most viable scene in this limited film.) Her unswerving common sense, denied compromise, always prevailed.
“The Iron Lady” was a monumental disappointment, totally unworthy of its iconic subject; at best a tool , for Streep’s inimitable skills, at worst an embarrassment, a travesty, focusing on Ms. Thatcher’s dwindling mental capacities, driveling conversations with her deceased husband, shallow flashbacks, guffawing male politicians; sophomoric camera work focusing on Ms. Thatcher’s foibles instead of accomplishments; even those appear staged, contrived, pale in comparison to the grittiness of her victories.
Bereft of any substantial supporting roles.
The aging process robs all who attain advanced numbers, either vision, waistline, intellect: Ms. Thatcher who is still alive deserves better than this tepid production by those whose message I find meandering, difficult to decipher.
Skip the movie and read “The Iron Lady, from Grocer’s Daughter to Prime Minister” by John Campbell and David Freeman; it justifies Ms. Thatcher’s life and legacy.
TWO & 1/2 STARS!!